College of Education and Behavioral Sciences News
View from the Hill: Teacher apprenticeship program
- WKU News
- Thursday, April 13th, 2023
A first of its kind apprenticeship program could help address the nationwide teacher shortage.
It’s a partnership between WKU and Nelson County Schools as WKU’s Amy Bingham explains in this week’s View from the Hill.
This teacher apprenticeship program not only gives future teachers hands on teaching experience, it puts them on the fast track to having their very own classroom just two years after graduating from high school.
“I’ve always just had a passion for being with kids and I’ve tried to look into other careers and I just didn’t have that spark with them.”
High school junior Abigail McGee is getting a head start on her dream of being a teacher.
“I also get to learn a lot about child development, how to create a classroom, how to create these lesson plans and how to work with kids and what works best.”
It’s all part of an education collab here at Nelson County’s Early Learning Center.
“They have been building relationships with teachers here and with students here, the pre-school students are crazy about them.”
Thanks to a partnership between Nelson County and WKU, a K-12 Teacher Apprenticeship program has been created that will get future teachers in the workforce much sooner.
“It’s a rigorous college prep program that they actually get to begin as a freshman in high school rather than waiting until college to start.”
Dual credit general education courses will be taught through Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and WKU. Students will earn 59 hours of college credit and 24 hours toward their teacher certification in high school.
“They’re starting as freshmen in high school working through a two-year apprenticeship afterwards, that’s six years of teaching which is more than most teachers get being in classrooms. Not only does it address the teacher shortage, but it is creating better prepared teachers.”
Once they graduate, the student will continue to be a paid employee in Nelson County as they enroll at WKU and finish their bachelor’s degree.
“I feel like it’s gonna help a lot of students figuring out if that’s really what they want to do and getting the perspective, the reality perspective, but as well as helping them financially.”
Giving these future teachers the chance to make a different in young lives.
“I had a teacher that I really liked and she was a strong influence on me. I liked her impact that she had on me and I want to have that impact on students.”
The Nelson County students who are part of the education collab came to WKU earlier this week and were given a campus tour. The apprenticeship program officially gets up and running in the fall.